Grooming is More than a Pretty Face, Long Island, NY

Grooming is More than a Pretty Face

dog nose

We all want our pups to look (and smell) like a million bucks but did you know that grooming is also important for their overall health and well-being?

A health routine that includes grooming ensures that your pooch isn’t harboring any skin conditions, cuts or scrapes that you may not be aware of. Gone unnoticed, injuries can become infected and lead to more dangerous health conditions. And if your dog is of the long-haired variety, keeping his or her coat from getting too long can limit the amount of hair ingested.

In fact, in some cases, grooming has even saved a dog’s life, according to Check out this link to read a story about just that:

Then there are the stories I’ve read on the Internet about those poor homeless dogs on death row at animal shelters who, after a nice grooming, had better success at being adopted into loving forever homes. Here is a link to just such a story with a happy ending:

NYC, Manhattan, L.I., Westchester, Brooklyn and the Bronx have lots of great groomers to choose from, when you’re initially in the market to find your pup’s perfect groomer match. I go by word-of-mouth and veterinarian referrals for my own pets.

On another topic, if you’d like to step-up your pooch’s obedience skills be sure to contact your local Off Leash K9 Training professionals. They have the expertise to address any number of behavioral challenges, including dog aggression, food aggression, potty-training and obedience!

Wags and woofs,

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!


Happy Holidays with your Pup in Long Island

Happy Holidays with your pup!


Oh, the holidays! Everyone’s favorite time of the year. Heck, it may even be Fido’s favorite time of the year, too! Our homes fill with family and friends, which typically means all the more hands for giving ‘nice pats on the head’ and ‘lots of belly rubs’. As they say, the more the merrier, right? You want to be careful with your pet around Christmastime. If there will be a lot of people in and out of your home this holiday season, here are a few things to consider..

Proper Introductions

With each familiar face, your pup will be overwhelmed with with joy and the potential for lots of extra lovin’. This can sometimes cause an excited pee. If this is the case, remind your guests not to greet your dog in a high pitched tone but rather in a calm and soothing manor. Additionally, if your pup is notorious for excited urination, you can even bring them outside to greet your company.

No ‘People Food’

Make note that all your visitors understand your canine companion shouldn’t be eating unapproved ‘treats’ or table scraps. A lot of holidays foods can be extremely dangerous for your pet. To avoid any issues, I would recommend reminding your guests before they even come not to feed your pup. In case you do want to treat Fido.. here are a few foods that your pet should not eat this holiday season.

  • Chocolate
  • Unbaked bread
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Garbage

A Get-a-way

Lastly, we want to remind all pet owners to be sure their companion has a place to go and get away from all of the holiday commotion. Leave their crate open, have a spare room with their things set up or even just know a spot they enjoy will be ‘guest-free’ for the majority for the holidays. Just like people, our canine companions get tired and even cranky. Be sure to leave a spot accessible to your pet so he/she can escape and enjoy some uninterrupted time away from the busy lifestyle this holiday season.


Wags and woofs,

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!


Your Christmas Puppy / Long Island, NY

Your Christmas Puppy


It’s that time of year! The time of year for giving, spreading holiday cheer, surrounding yourself with friends and family, and perhhhhaps a fluffy new puppy!

In an attempt to help you manage the busy holi-days and your new addition, we have put together a list of beginners guidelines and tips for you!

The Set-up

Similarly to a new baby.. when your puppy comes home, you want to be prepared for everything. Did you get the right crate? Did you even get a crate or are you trying a different method? Will they come with enough food for the weekend? Will you change their food? How will he sleep? If he is in the crate, will he wine all night? What about going potty.. will you start him inside or outside? If inside, how do you make the transition? These are all tons of things that will swarm your mind when you bring home your little fur-ball, and we don’t want you to forget them!

Our recommendation: Crate train. Just do it! Yes, your pup might wine at night; however, now only will this help with potty training (or basically do it for you), but it’s also a good way to set boundaries. Setting expectations with your pup is HUGE. You should decide early on if you will allow them on furniture and allow them to eat ‘people food’. We suggest no to both of those. Get them outside to go to the bathroom. This is natural for dogs, and YES, they will go out in all types of weather.

Develop A Routine

How often will your pup need to go outside to potty? Should you feed him three times a day, even though you work during the day, all day? What about water? Do they need water 24/7 or just with meals? Will they tell me when they have to go out? What if they don’t eat when I put food down? Should I leave the bowl in the crate for them? How will I know if they are hungry?

Our recommendation: Your new puppy is like a clean slate. Meaning that what goes in is going to come out. It can be different with each pup, but it’s typically anywhere between 20-60 minutes after eating or drinking that your pup will use this bathroom. Make sure you are taking them out often! This will train them to let you know they have to go outside to go potty and help them get on a routine. Speaking of a routine.. My opinion on feeding pups three times a day is that you should consult your vet on this. Most times, I suggest twice a day. This helps your puppy get on a routine of eating in the morning, using the bathroom, being in the crate during the day, eating again in the evening and going to the bathroom again after. Having a routine and structure for your pup is incredibly important.

Find a Trainer & a Vet

This one is simple. You should research vets in the area. Find one who feels similarly on certain topics as yourself. This will make it easier for them to help you with recommendations and suggestions throughout the entirety of your pups life. From puppy days to adulthood, you want to feel comfortable in trusting someone to help you make decisions about your new babe. That being said, you should also find a trainer. Educate yourself and see what is out there. Find out about your dogs particular needs and what route will be best for you. Socialize, desensitize, and shape a well-rounded pup with the help of a trainer!

Finally, CONGRATS on your new puppy! Love them, respect them, teach them, watch them grow and enjoy them!

Wags and woofs,

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!


Are Mushrooms Dangerous for Your Pup in Long Island

Are Mushrooms Dangerous for Your Pup


There’s a good chance that mushrooms bloom in many yards and parks that you and your dog frequent.  In both the rural and urban areas of Long Island, these fungus can be found peppering the landscape, usually when it’s excessively damp.

Problem is, a number of mushroom varieties can be lethal for your dog. Dr. Justine A. Lee, a veterinarian and contributing writer for Pet Health addresses how to identify and take precautions to prevent your pet from having a fatal close encounter in her 2015 article titled Dogs and Mushrooms; Are They Poisonous?

“There are thousands of mushrooms out there, but only about 100 types are poisonous. (Don’t worry about mushrooms sold in large-chain grocery stores – these are safe and considered non-toxic to dogs and humans). Depending on what type of mushroom is accidentally ingested, poisoning can be seen even with just a small bite. Mushrooms are very difficult to identify, and that should only be done by mycologists,” Lee writes.  

When in doubt, veterinarians always assume the worst-case scenario… that each mushroom is poisonous when ingested by dogs or cats. When it comes to mushrooms, they can result in different types of poisoning, depending on what species of mushroom is ingested, she writes.


(Editor’s Note: Don’t worry about memorizing each kind of poisonous mushroom, as you will see here, Dr. Lee’s advice is the same regardless of which mushroom you think your dog ate.])

  • The most dangerous type of mushroom is the Amanita, which contains amanitin toxins. Clinical signs seen from this mushroom include severe gastrointestinal signs (within 6-24 hours), a “false recovery” period (where your dog appears to get better), and then severe liver failure (at 36-48 hours post-mushroom exposure). Acute kidney injury (AKI) can also develop in the end stages. These types of deadly mushrooms include Amanita, Galerina, Lepiota, A. phalloids (death cap, death angel), and A. ocreata.
  • The Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms contain the toxin muscarine and cause profuse SLUDE signs (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, urination, diarrhea) and neurologic signs.
  • Amanita muscaria and A. pantherina are a different type of Amanita that contain the toxins muscimol and ibotenic acid. Clinical signs from this type of mushroom include ‘walking drunk,’ severe sedation, tremors or even seizures.
  • The false morel (Gyromitra spp.) causes profuse vomiting and diarrhea and is generally not fatal. Rarely, it can cause seizures.
  • Some types of mushrooms just cause gastrointestinal irritation (e.g., vomiting and diarrhea) and are rarely life threatening when ingested. Signs can be seen in 1-6 hours, and generally resolve after 1-2 days. These types of mushrooms include the following types: Agaricus, Boletus, Entoloma.
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms aren’t life-threatening and rarely need treatment. That said, signs of ataxia, acting abnormal, howling, abnormal eye movement and hyperthermiacan be seen when dogs ingest them. These types of mushrooms include the following types: Psilocybe, Conocybe, Gymnopilus spp.


Lee advises taking swift action if you see your dog eat a mushroom. Get to a veterinarian oremergency veterinarian immediately. 

“The sooner you bring your dog in, the sooner we can decontaminate (e.g., induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to bind the poison from the stomach) and treat your dog; this will be less expensive and less damaging to your dog.”

Additional treatment often includes IV fluids, blood work monitoring (for 2 days), liver protectant drugs, anti-vomiting medication, and supportive care. If you wait until clinical signs develop, it may be too late to treat your dog effectively, she said.

When in doubt, you can always call your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care at 888-426-4435.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

And your local Off Leash K9 Training professional is always available to assist you and your pooch with any canine behavioral issue, concern or question. Topics to explore include dog and food aggression, dog potty training issues and all phases of canine obedience.

Wags and woofs,

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!


Heartworm and Wintering Mosquitoes in Long Island

Heartworm and Wintering Mosquitoes 

Tick-borne and mosquito-transmitted diseases don’t take a vacation when the weather turns frigid. And mosquitoes are the exclusive carriers of Heartworm Disease. So how is it conceivable that mosquitoes can survive in NYC, Manhattan, Long Island (LI), Brooklyn, Bronx and Westchester into the winter months? 

“In the correct habitat, adults can survive the winter, too. The northern house mosquito uses a hibernation system known as diapause,” writes a Mosquito Squad blogger in a post on the topic found at  

“After mating in the fall, females ingest nectar (instead of blood) to build up fat reserves that will sustain them through the cold months. They look for basements, sewers, logs, or holes in the ground in which to keep themselves in the winter.”  

Heartworm is a serious disease that, if untreated, can be fatal to your dog. The disease primarily affects the heart and lungs but it can also assail the liver, kidney, eye and central nervous system, according to the experts at Pet Health Network. 

Symptoms can be subtle in the early phase of the disease and are therefore easy to overlook. As the disease progresses and the number of heartworms grow a dog will cough, become lethargic, show reluctance for exercise, lose his or her appetite and begin to lose weight, writes Dr. Ruth McPete, a veterinarian and contributing Pet Health Network author. 

Read the full story titled What You Need to Know About Heartworm Disease by going to

McPete recommends not waiting for your pet to display symptoms because by that time irreversible damage may have already occurred. 

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) has conducted extensive studies on heartworm disease and McPete shared some their findings: 

There is an increasing incidence of heartworm disease across the US. Even cats can be infected with the parasite and develop the disease. 

According to WebMD, the parasite that causes heartworm can infect dogs, cats, ferrets and other mammals – even humans. 

“In rare cases, heartworms have infected people, but it does not complete its life cycle. The heartworm will migrate to the lung and cause a round lesion that looks like a tumor. But these are very rare cases,” writes Sandy Eckstein in the WebMD online article titled Heartworms in Dogs: Facts and Myths found at

It’s very important to have your pets tested for heartworm. Diagnosing the disease is quick and easy and usually accomplished through a blood test, Pet Health Network’s McPete states. 

Treating a pet with heartworm without injury to the dog or cat (or ferret) can be a challenge, and while treatment options have improved they are not without risk. And they are expensive. That’s why prevention is the best course of action. Additionally, current heartworm preventative medications are safe, effective and available in pills, topical applications and by injection. 

“These can also protect your pets (and their human family) from other internal parasites (such as roundworms),” she said. 

For more advice and recommendations about heartworm and preventative medications for your pet, contact his or her veterinarian. 

And If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s behavior remember to reach out to your local Metro New York, NYC, Manhattan, LI, Brooklyn, Bronx and Westchester Off Leash K9 Training professional. He or she can address and resolve behavioral issues such as canine obedience, canine food aggression, dog aggression, potty training and much more!

wags & woofs,

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!


Singing to your Dog in Long Island

Is Singing to your Pooch Okay?

We’ve all seen the videos, commercials and TV shows featuring dogs singing solo or with their humans. As charming as the act may be, did you ever find yourself wondering if you should sing to your pooch and if he or she might actually enjoy being sung to? 

There are websites devoted to teaching you how to sing your dog to sleep. This technique reportedly works on any dog breed. Check one site out at

Dogs have been joining humans in song and song performances for decades, according to a Psychology Today article titled Do Dogs Have a Musical Sense by Stanley Coren for that magazine’s Canine Corner published April 2, 2012.

“In 1980 Carnegie Hall hosted the debut performance of Howl, a musical work for twenty voices and three canines,” writes Coren. “The piece was composed and conducted by Kirk Nurock, who is also a pianist and arranger that has worked with the likes of  Dizzy Gillespie, Judy Collins, Bette Midler, and Leonard Bernstein. Trained at Julliard School of Music, Nurock would go on to compose and perform the Sonata for Piano and Dog (1983) andExpedition (1984), an arrangement for Jazz Trio and Siberian Husky. In each of these dogs howled to accompany music, with occasional barks and yips as punctuation.”

There are certainly enough cultural and musical venues in Metro NY, Manhattan, LI, Westchester, Brooklyn and the Bronx from which to gain inspiration for putting your thoughts about your pooch to song. But perhaps the best guidelines can be found at at Author Cathy Crimmins, in her article titledHow to Sing to Your Dog; hummed or howled, tunes find a receptive audience, admits that many people prefer singing to their dog over ‘crooning to a baby or a toddler.’ And for good reason.

“For one thing, your dog will never develop the capacity for irony or satirical thinking so annoying in humans, so any stupid or caustic lyrics you make up won’t be understood,” Crimmins writes. “And your doggie will never fling these songs back to you in a family counseling session, or years later as you lie on your death bed.

So whether you choose a narrative or classic folk song for your pooch, chances are your efforts will be met with wagging tail and lots of kisses. Go ahead and give it a try!!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
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Belly Rubs or Treats in Manhattan

Belly Rubs or Treats?

Often times, ‘rewarding’ is most commonly associated with giving a treat. When you ask your new puppy to sit and he plops his little hind end onto the floor with his front paws still holding him up, the next step is to reward him with the new treats you got while you were shopping this weekend.

The famous, “do you wanna treat?!” phrase is one all too familiar to our four-legged friends. However, are we overlooking a good old fashioned belly rub or pets on the head?

Studies show that our furry friends actually prefer belly rubs and physical praise over a bacon-y treat from the local pet store. Rachel Lallensack described a study researchers carried out where they scanned images of dogs’ brains while receiving one or the other in Science Magazine online.

This study went on to conclude that overall, the dogs responded better to belly rubs and petting than they did to pieces of hot dogs, bacon bits or any other common dog treats. Who knew? Our furry friends love pet, praise, play, love and affection more than they love a nice juicy treat!

Canines aren’t referred to as man’s best friend for no reason, after all.

In our training programs, we stress the importance of pet, play and praise over treat training. What is a better way to bond with and build the relationship with your pup than to give them physical love and affection for doing something we want them to do such as sit, lay down, walk at our side, and even cuddle up with us!


If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!

Housebreaking and Potty Training Your Puppy in NYC

Housebreaking/ potty training can be a nightmare for some! However, with our preferred system, your pup should be 99% accident-free by the time they are just 4 months old, if not sooner. Individuals tend to either love or hate crate training. We encourage crate training as it has proven to be both an effective and efficient way of getting your puppy housebroken by the time they are 4 months old! There are some important tips (etiquette, if you will) that you should know before diving into the crate training process!
Think about your dog’s breed when you’re making a decision about buying a crate. If you have a golden retriever, it is likely they will grow from the 15 pound fluff-ball into a 55-70 pound dog; however, if you have chosen a Maltese to join your family, they would be lost with all of the space in a medium or large sized crate. When you’re investing in a ‘bedroom’ for your new puppy, it can appear to or sometimes become costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of buying a new crate each time they ‘grow out of it’, most crates are now sold with a divider. This is the simplest and most cost effective way to go. This option allows you to purchase a larger crate that you will be able to use in the future (imaging your dog fully grown), but it will also be used to properly crate train your puppy in their beginning stages.
It is important to speak about the appropriate amount of space they need inside the crate. This is where most people struggle with housebreaking, and why the divider is such a useful aid for the process. One of the most common mistakes people make with potty training or crate training, is giving their puppy too much space! With too much space, your pup is given an opportunity to make waste in one corner, and lie in the other. Ideally, your pup should only have enough room to lie down, stand up, turn around, and spin in a circle. Believe it or not, they don’t need to be able to train for marathons or have room for them and two friends in there. The more unnecessary space you provide them with, they more opportunities they will have to make a mess in there. Always set your puppy up for success by giving them enough room, but nothing more than what they need to sit or lie comfortably in.
Another common mistake puppy parents tend to make it is placing any blankets, beds, cushions, etc. into the crate with their new puppy. It is well known that most all puppies chew things in their beginning stages, it’s just what puppies do! They’re going through a teething process, so everything they can get their teeth on or sunk into, they will. We’ve all seen the memes floating around the internet of owners who come home to a dog buried in stuffing claiming it ‘exploded’ or ‘blew up’; or we’ve heard our friends and family complain about how their pup eats or chews apart the ‘nice, new dog bed’ they got he or she. Our advice: don’t give them something to ‘keep them comfortable’ inside the crate. Aside from them chewing it apart and getting sick later, the stuffing you have provided them with can serve as a restroom for them. even with the proper size crate, if the particular material absorbs their mistake, they don’t have to lay/sit in it directly, and it isn’t a problem for them. Overall, your pup is just fine with laying on the tray or base of the crate, trust us!
Now, let’s talk about how to get them to go in the right places! After learning all about crate training do’s and don’ts, you’re probably wondering how to get them to go outside in the first place. It’s actually a simple process. You want to make sure that if your new puppy isn’t being supervised, they’re in the crate. They’re more likely to have an accident if you’re not watching them, playing with them, etc. so anytime you have to be away from him or her, place them back in the crate where they are ensured not to go. The easiest way to regulate their restroom schedule is by introducing a feeding schedule. Typically they will have to go outside anytime between and hour to two hours after eating, and 30 minutes to an hour after drinking.
Another key tip to housebreaking is consistency. It can frustrating in the beginning stages when you bring your new puppy outside and encourage him with ‘go potty” or “go to the bathroom” and they blankly stare at you. When this happens, most people bring them back into the house and let them ‘hang out’. it is very important that if they haven’t gone to the bathroom, when you bring them back in, you place them back in the crate. In 10 or so minutes, bring them back outside and repeat the ‘go potty’ phrases for them. If they still don’t go to the bathroom, bring them right back into the crate and repeat the steps again 10 or 15 minutes later. They will begin to understand that this is their opportunity to use the restroom and to avoid being put back in the crate, he or she will go the first time.
Housebreaking can seem like a difficult task for new puppy owners; however, we have found there is a fairly simple way to getting your pup to use the restroom outdoors, 100% accident-free. If you follow our guide, your potty training process should be completed by the time your new pup is just 4 month old, if not sooner!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our training, please give us a call today!
You can reach us by email or phone:
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook for daily photos and videos of dogs in training!